The term Musha Shugyo was nearly as old as the Empire itself, and meant "warrior pilgrimage". It was when a warrior left behind all of his allegiances and wandered the Empire as a ronin, perfecting the warrior's art. The clans recognized this tradition, but would not allow just anyone to embark upon one. The daimyo must first receive testimony from the samurai's sensei, and could choose to deny the request (especially if in war time).
The warrior traveled without any identification connecting him to his former clan, and he was treated as a ronin, which for all intents and purposes he was. He could not betray his origins or the pilgrimage was broken. It was left to the warrior's discretion whether to travel alone or with others.
While on the musha shugyo, the samurai's goal was to learn as much as possible. He indulged in non-lethal duels to hone his skills, and was expected to accept all challenges. If he came across a battle, the samurai would request permission to join the side that most suited him. 
Most pilgrimages lasted a minimum of one year and could only be ended with the completion of an act of incredible skill and prowess set by the ronin's former sensei.  Once the warrior felt he was ready he would return to his sensei to demonstrate the knowledge he had gained. If acceptable he would be reinstated into the clan.
See also Edit
External Links Edit
- Musha Shugyo (The Heaven's Will)
- Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 34
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